Bru Coffee’s Green Juice -
This hip Atascadero coffee hangout may be known for its Stumptown beans, freshly prepared quiche, and killer hangover-obliterating breakfast burritos, but there are a few new stars on the menu worth giving a whirl. Try any of their frosty smoothies, sold in 16- or 24-ounce offerings, for a fresh pick-me-up that is both flavorful and balanced. I recently slurped down their green variety—a mix of spinach, kale, banana, white grape juice, Greek yogurt, and lime. It’s a creamy rush of fruit and veggie love with a tart, tangy kick. Being healthy doesn’t come from one way of living; it’s more about making lots of good, itty-bitty decisions every day. Now, it’s probably about time I put down this block of sharp cheddar and go for a walk.
• About $4.50 for a 16-ounce cup; 5760 El Camino Real, Atascadero.
Chop Street’s Nitro Tap: Deschutes Cinder Cone Red Ale -
Pismo Beach isn’t just about clam chowder, Fresno tourists, and cool, mid-century architecture slowly crumbling into the sea. I recently went for a leisurely drive in my nearly-dead 2001 Ford Focus Wagon (I’m used to the rattling sound by now) from Edna Valley to Price Canyon Drive to the beach. The scenic cruise spit me out into a glowing, gorgeous orange sunset and the equally glowing, gorgeous face of SLOcal Grace Miller, whom I found behind the bar of Chop Street, tucked on the corner of Price and Main. The newly remodeled restaurant is ramshackle chic to the nines, with rustic finishes everywhere and a welcoming patio area that adds nimble square-footage to the cozy haunt. Local wine is available by the bottle and the glass, but I was in the mood for something with a bit more bite. Miller enlightened me to the fact that the restaurant’s rotating 12-tap bar always features a different brew on nitro, including IPAs and pales. Although you’re probably used to seeing stouts on nitro, the specific carbonation process produces a luxurious head and mouth feel, which heightens the experience for all kinds of trend-bucking craft beer. This week, snuggle up to the bar at Chop Street and sip on their Deschutes Cinder Cone Red Ale on nitro, laced with notes of roasted barley, grapefruit, and caramel. Pair that foamy goodness with Chop Street’s Sweet Potato Tacos (stuffed with charred tomatillo salsa, cabbage, sweet red pepper, cilantro, and lime), and you’ve got yourself a helluva meal. Want something with a bit more gravity (and gravy) to it? Try their lineup of artisan pot pies. Yes, I said it. Artisan. Pot. Pies. Gulp! Need I say more?
• Beer prices vary; 779 Price Street, Pismo Beach.
Reach Hayley Thomas at email@example.com.